The White Plains Examiner

No Bubble Vote Yet in Greenburgh

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A rendering of the proposed sports bubble in Greenburgh.
A rendering of the proposed sports bubble in Greenburgh.

If you’re waiting for the Town of Greenburgh to approve Game 365’s lease, don’t hold your breath.

The town postponed the vote on whether to allow Game 365 to take over the former site of Frank’s Nursery several times last week and has now set the vote for Aug. 13.

Game 365 is looking to build the Westchester Fieldhouse, a 94,000 square foot dome bubble that would include numerous recreational fields.

The vote was supposed to take place on Tuesday morning and then pushed back to Thursday morning and later pushed back to Thursday night. The town said it is taking the time to review the lease and does not want to vote until it is sure. The August 13 date was picked due to Councilman Ken Jones being out of town this week.

Town officials say that leasing to Game on 365 would create revenue, help lower taxes and allow for much needed field space, while opponents have questioned the speed in which the town is entering the deal and how much traffic would be created.

“We are rewriting the terms of the lease and trying to make sure there are no loopholes,” Feiner said. “I think it is good. If we voted without posting the lease on the website before, most people would think we are hiding something.”

Feiner said that the lease issues are little things here and there, and that it is everybody looking at the language.

“There is a decent chance that it will pass unanimously,” Feiner said. “You never know until you vote. If board members really objected, they wouldn’t stay from 9:15 p.m. to 1:15 a.m., to work out the language. I think the odds of it passing are good, but you never know in politics. There’s been twists and turns.”

Critics, led by Simon Cohen of, have come out in full force against the project, sending out numerous mailings to Greenburgh residents. Critics charge that the rent is too low and there is no cap on what the town must spend on cleaning up the site, among other grievances.

In the first year, Game On 365 is expected to pay $260,000 and in Year 15 will pay $335,000. The property taxes on the property are part of Game On’s lease. As the town continues to work on the lease, those terms could change.

According to the town, Game On 365 has also committed to paying $250,000 in cleanup costs, including $125,000 upfront, though Feiner said the town is continuing to make modifications to the lease.

“My feeling is that all the members of the town board are in favor of it,” Feiner said. “We are making modifications so we get more revenue.”

Cohen said he is shocked by the town pushing back the vote, and said he thinks they are listening to the community’s outcry against the lease.

“There are holes in the lease and they need to be sealed,” Cohen said. “Everything has been misrepresented by the town.”

Cohen claims that while Frank’s Nursery paid $240,000 in property taxes, Game On 365 will only be paying $100,000 annually in taxes.

“If Frank’s Nursery only had to pay $100,000 in taxes, they might still be in business. It’s not a fair amount when you look at other businesses and what they are paying.”

Cohen has been dogged by allegations that he is affiliated with House of Sports, a similar sports complex in Ardsley, and that they are funding his campaign. Cohen denies those allegations.

“I am supported by local residents looking to remain anonymous,” Cohen said. “Game On 365 claims to have a petition signed by residents of Westchester View Lane in support of the fieldhouse. I live on Westchester View Lane and I was not questioned. They didn’t ask for my vote. The people across the street, they didn’t ask for their vote.”

Cohen said the town is trying to use him as a smokescreen when he is just a small piece of the puzzle.

“A majority of the residents didn’t know about the lease or what was going on,” Cohen said. “I just brought it to everybody’s attention.”

Feiner said that Game On 365 got 13 out of 18 signatures in support, and that it is possible they didn’t reach all the residents. He said the owner of the property that Cohen is a tenant of supports the lease.

“Paul Feiner only tells you what you want to hear,” charges Cohen said. “He tells people they will make $5 million in revenue over 15 years, but they will only be making $3 million and going to pay an unknown number of fees due to an increase in police and fire presence.”

Cohen has also criticized Feiner for touting an opinion by the Greenburgh Chief of Police that there will not be additional traffic as a result of the Westchester Fieldhouse.

“He has no authority or experience to do that,” Cohen said. “He’s not a traffic expert. I wish Paul Feiner would be more honest with his townspeople.”

Feiner said that the town is going to be doing a further analysis and said that approving the lease is just the first hurdle, Game On 365 must still be approved by the Planning Board and undergo the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Assessment) process.

Cohen said he would like to see the down hire a realtor and develop it for residential homes.

“It would bring in lots of tax dollars and a lot less traffic,” Cohen said.

Feiner said the town has done that, having contacted many brokers and putting up signs.

“Frank’s Nursery was on the market for four to five years and never had one offer,” Feiner said. “I reached out to everybody last year.”

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